The Gillean's Guide to the Smokies

IMG_1781.JPG The handsome husband and I wanted to go on a trip for our one year anniversary, so a few months back we booked a cabin in the Smokies. We wanted a short getaway, with a drive that wouldn't take all day to get there, so this was perfect.

Google maps said it would take roughly four hours for us to get there. It took us a little bit longer because we had to make the usual stop at Chickfila and countless bathroom stops because my bladder hates me.

One thing I wanted to be sure and do was cherish the memories of this trip. Just kidding, that was the name of our cabin. Cherished Memories on Dolly Drive. I definitely cherished the memories, and if it wasn't for our cabin's name, I might have forgotten to. So thank you for that reminder, cabin. Anyway, I brought lots of books and games and a puzzle for us to put together during our stay, but instead we played about 20 games of pool because apparently I'm really competitive about billiards. I only won twice, which was why we played so many times because after my first win, I was hungry for another. This is why I can't gamble. So, if you actually want to read the books and play the games you brought with you, don't get a cabin with a pool table.

Every morning I drank my coffee and looked out the window at this. It was lovely.


And sometimes we ventured out into the world. Usually it was because we were starving. So most of the things I will tell you to do while you're in the Smoky Mountains (besides billiards) is eat at restaurants. Here were our favorites:

1. Best Italian - And it really was the best. This was where we ordered way too much food and made a vow to always share a meal when we go to a restaurant. The food was delicious and it was cozy and warm inside (which is important because it was absolutely FREEZING outside).



2. The Donut Friar. Um. Amazing donuts. I really don't feel like there's much I have to say about a good donut shop. The donuts were GOOD. If I had to pick a favorite, the chocolate cruller is where it's at.

3. Crockett's Breakfast Camp - This is where Tim and I broke our vow of always sharing meals when we go to restaurants. And as soon as the food arrived and we saw how much there was, we made the vow again. And then we ate a fried cinnamon roll.

4. The Park Grill - Again, we forgot to split a meal but I ordered the filet and wasn't about to share it.

5. Maypops - Yes, more donuts. But we grabbed one to share after dinner one night and the place was too cute to pass up.


As far as entertainment goes, you have all the options you could possibly want. Here were the highlights:

1. The Dixie Stampede. Because, Dolly. And horses. This is a dinner show and a great way to spend a cold evening in the Smokies. We were there when the Christmas show was happening and it certainly put us in the holiday spirit. You get to sit and eat delicious food and watch amazing horse tricks. What more could a gal want?

2. Stroll around Gatlinburg. Here, you will have the opportunity to consume as many samples of fudge as you want and buy beef jerky of any variety. If you're lucky, you can catch a bluegrass band playing outside Ole Smoky Moonshine. Tim also informed me of the fact that you could purchase ninja stars in a shop we didn't go into.

3. Auto tour the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This was my favorite day. We drove up into the park and saw the incredible views and gorgeous snow-covered treetops, all from the comfort of our heated car.


4. Hike to Laurel Falls. This was alot of fun! It was an easy hike up and when we got there the falls were so pretty! You absolutely MUST do some sort of hiking while you're in the Smokies. The park is amazing and there are so many options.



And then I had a bear sighting!


Just kidding, it's just my husband yawning.

I can't tell you how great it was to get away with the Mr. It was so relaxing and wonderful and recharging. The Smoky Mountains were the perfect destination and I highly recommend it for anyone!

Where is your favorite place to get away to?



The Maiedae Mixer

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetIf you don't follow me on instagram, you may have missed that I went to the Maiedae Mixer in Atlanta this past weekend. It was so much fun! I met so many wonderful ladies, made some cool crafts, got an AWESOME swag bag and had way too much fun in the photobooth. IMG_1284



I met the lovely ladies of Maiedae who put on this fancy event, Savannah and Jenny.


The theme was "You're Golden" so we all incorporated gold into our outfits somehow!

It was such a great weekend and a great excuse for a girls trip with my gal Vicky. We shopped (and I fell down in Bloomingdales), we got mani-pedis and we ate amazing food.

IMG_1298We stopped at Milk and Honey in Chattanooga on our way home and I had the best milk and honey latte! Rumor has it, we're getting one of these in Nashville and I'm so excited about that.

If you haven't taken a girls trip lately, I highly recommend it!



Carson Moves to Nashville

You guys. I am so excited. So so so excited. Why you ask?

My little brother has moved to Nashville. Finally. He's definitely one of the coolest people I know and I'm so very proud of him. Last time we lived in the same city he was seven, so this is pretty great if you ask me.

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(Please note my mother's smile in the background, she's so proud)

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetHere he is walking into his dorm. He clearly loves the fact that I'm documenting his every move. What can I say?! It's a big day and I'll make you a scrapbook, Carson.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetHere are our parents on move-in day. They tried to get the printer to work for a good ten minutes. I know they were just stalling, they have no idea how to use a printer.

Once the 'rents went home to Ohio, we went out for tacos and ice cream. Jeni's of course. Carson loved 12th South.

I can't wait to take him to all of our favorite places in this wonderful city.

All of the Key/Gillean kids are in Nashville now. I bet our parents get so bored without us.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetMy little sibs are both in Nashville and my life is complete.






Our Visit to The Bobby Bones Show.

Tim and I are doing a "stay-cation" this week and Nashville has to be the best place to explore. A few things on the staycation to-do list is to get a cortado from Crema, go hiking at Edwin Warner park, eat at Josephine in 12th south and the number one thing that I ABSOLUTELY HAD to do was sit in on The Bobby Bones Show. So we did. It was my birthday wish and it came true. photo 2

For those of you who are unfamiliar with The Bobby Bones Show, you best familiarize yourself. It is a country music radio show and it's so much fun. Visiting the show was even more fun and really the only thing I'll get up early and curl my hair for on vacation.

We waited in the lobby for our turn to go in and Cruz came out and got us. Cruz is the head of security a.k.a. "The Bobby-Guard". He gave us some instructions and walked us back into the studio. We sat behind Lunchbox, who is the hilarious one on the show.

I was completely starstruck when I saw Bobby. And so was my husband.


No shame.

Anyway. It was so amazing getting to see behind the scenes of the show I listen to every morning when I wake up. Everyone was really nice too! This was one of the coolest things we've done in Nashville. The only bummer is that Amy wasn't in the studio that day. She was the one I was looking forward to meeting the most! Maybe we can photo-shop her into this awesome picture.

photo 3If you're ever in Nashville and you love The Bobby Bones Show, I highly recommend you try and visit. You can sign up on their website and they respond really quickly.

Okay, now I'm off to the pool because that's what we do on a Tennessee Pretty Stay-cation.

Also, what's everyone doing tomorrow for the fourth?